This report documents the findings from the 2018 evaluation of the Makin’ Tracks project, operated by Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (ADAC), South Australia (SA). The evaluation was undertaken by the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI), in collaboration with ADAC staff. The purpose of this evaluation was to provide advice to ADAC and its governance and funding bodies as to whether Makin’ Tracks is operating effectively and meeting its key project objectives. Since its inception, it was intended that the program would be evaluated at regular intervals to inform funding bodies and provide recommendations for continued service improvement. To this end, Makin’ Tracks was evaluated during 2004, 2007 and 2011. This report constitutes the fourth formal evaluation and builds on the three previous evaluations.
- The evaluation confirmed the consistent feedback to Makin’ Tracks that Aboriginal people are much more likely to engage with services when they are conducted in a culturally appropriate way. This includes the information, the nature of the activity, the person or organisation providing the service, and the way this person implements the curriculum and conducts the activities.
- Lastly, Makin’ Tracks has been a part of a wider strategy to address harmful use of alcohol and other drugs, which has seen some successes over the years, in spite of changing use of alcohol and other drugs in the community. For example, Makin’ Tracks was originally set up to address petrol sniffing, but due to the collaborative efforts of a range of services and policies, this practice has significantly reduced.
- Researchers have become increasingly aware of the need to adopt more effective practices for evaluation of programs for Indigenous Australians, and have responded by developing good practice models for evaluation. These good practice models generally incorporate principles and methodologies that have a basis in ‘cultural integrity’; a construct that is also relatively new in the field of good practice service provision.